Jon Lovitch is a chef and the creator of Gingerbread Lane, an annual display of homemade and handmade gingerbread houses that he drafts, designs, bakes, plans, builds and decorates for an entire year. Yes, it takes all year to put this winter wonderland together, which descended on downtown Pittsburgh for the first time this November, after 5 consecutive holiday seasons at Robinson Mall.
Originally hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, Jon was inspired by a local pastry chef by the name of Chuck Conroy and a mutual chef friend by the name of Joe Evano to create this elaborate holiday treat that has grown from just 12 houses in 1994 to 138 this year, all made from 100% edible materials. No fake snow or cardboard stands even!
Gingerbread Lane always sits out in the open, rather than behind glass, a fact that can really be appreciated when one smells the homemade gingerbread. The concept for Gingerbread Lane changes each year, depending on what Lovitch has seen at gingerbread competitions, in magazines, at holiday displays, sometimes even drawing ideas from houses he spots while driving.